Codorniu Classico Brut NV, Spain
Anna de Codorniu Brut Rosé NV, Spain

Cost: $10-16
E ven though many fireworks displays have been cancelled for Independence Day this year, it doesn’t mean you have to go without. Just add some sparklers to your grilling or other backyard celebrations.
What better way to toast the birth of our nation than by popping the corks on some sparkling wine? There are many nice sparklers available, but for now let’s look at two from Spain, Codorníu Clasico Brut NV and Anna de Codorníu Brut Rosé NV.
My wife Teri and I have had these wines this week, and we love them both. They are everything you want in a sparkling wine: refreshing, fun, a party in your mouth. And best of all, they are bargains.
For as long as I can remember Spanish Cavas have been great bargains. Years ago I could find some for $4-5 a bottle. And they were good. But you would never mistake them for French Champagne.
Prices have gone up a little, but quality has gone up even more. These two Cavas are great with fine meals, or fun little celebrations. They are ideal for all kinds of situations.
The Brut Rosé ($14-16) has a beautiful deep red cherry color with fine and persistent bubbles. It has faint aromas of red fruit, such as strawberries and cherries. It is an elegant and light wine, with a slight sweetness balanced by crisp acidity. The finish is clean and refreshing.
The blend is 70 percent pinot noir and 30 percent chardonnay, the same grapes used for French Champagne. Each varietal is fermented separately and then blended. The bottles are stored in cool subterranean cellars, where they undergo a second fermentation followed by a period of aging in contact with the yeast lees. In all, the wine spends at least 12 months in the cellar.
Both the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes come from estate vineyards located in Lleida, in Spain’s famous Catalonia region, just outside of Barcelona. Harvest is always carried out at night, to keep the grapes as fresh as possible, thereby retaining aroma and avoiding oxidation or spontaneous fermentation.
The name “Anna” honors the Codorníu heiress who married the viticulturist Miquel Raventós in 1659. This Spanish bubbly is light on the palate and perfect for aperitifs and toasts.
Codorníu Clasico Brut NV ($10-12) is a very pale yellow, with fine, elegant bubbles. On the nose, typical varietal aromas of citrus and almond flour are prominent. This is a pleasant, fresh, and well-balanced sparkler on the palate.
It is a faithful reflection of the traditional Cava, with a fresh, fruity and delicate aroma, made from the traditional Macabeo, Xarel·lo and Parellada varieties. Each varietal is fermented separately before blending.
The bottles are stored in cool, underground cellars where the second fermentation takes place in the bottles. The wine is stored for at least nine months.
Both of these wines will be great to drink all summer long.

Winery: Cordorniu is synonymous with Cava itself, with the oldest winemaking history in Spain, dating back to 1551 with Jaume Codorníu and his family and encompassing 18 generations.
In 1872, Josep Raventós, a descendant, created the first bottle of Cava by applying the traditional method to a combination of Penedès grape varieties: Macabeo, Parellada and Xarel-lo.
Since then, Codorníu has developed a complete range of wines on their premises at Sant Sadurní d’Anoia. Codorníu represents the history, tradition, passion, innovation and expertise of a family business with more than 450 years of experience, and is a leader for quality Spanish still and sparkling wines to this day.
They produce dozens of Cavas and many other still wines.
Goes with: My wife Teri and I had the Anna Brut Rosé with our favorite light summer meal: steamed shrimp and salad. The wine couldn’t have been better.
The fruit flavors nicely countered the tangy shrimp and cocktail sauce flavors.
For the Classico Brut I had hot wings with a salad. This was another great pairing. The cooling bubbles and the slight citrus flavor cooled off the spices in the wings.
Both of these simple meals were elevated by the Cavas we had with them. It was a good reminder that adding bubbles to a meal always elevates the occasion a little.
Good sparkling wines like these can pair with just about anything. The Classico Brut would be great with dried fruits and nuts, chicken pot pie, assorted canapes and spicy Latino food or Asian carryout.
The Anna Rosé is great as an aperitif or just winding down at the end of the day.
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